The perfect examples of the art and architecture of Karnataka can be seen in its humble village Badami. The village is dotted with beautiful rock cut temples, intricately carved Cave temples, artificial lake, museum and rock-cut into the cliff face of a red sandstone hill. Earlier the village was called Vatapi. It is located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Between 540 AD to 757 AD, it was the capital of the Badami Chalukyas. Later the Pallavas who were defeated by the Chalukyas took the revenge by destroying Badami. Then it also came under the rule of Vijayanagra Empire.
This museum houes a rare collection of ancient specimens of sheer historic importance. It has four galleries dedicated to great art and architectural work of the past. The main attractions of the museum are the Lajja Gauri images of fertility cult, beautifully carved Makara Torana, a panel depicting scenes from Bhagwat Gita and animal dummies. The museum is open from 9 A.M. To 5 P.M.
The four rock-cut Badami Cave Temples are the main highlights of Badami. They were constructed between the 6th and the 8th centuries. The notable thing about the temples is the carving of Nataraja(the cosmic dancer) in 81 dance poses. Beautiful carvings of the Hindu deities can be spotted here. Some of them are Ganapati, Shanmuka, Mahishasura Mardhini, Ardha Nariswara, Sankara Narayana, Vishnu and Trivikrama. The fourth cave temple is dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara Mahavira, Parshwanatha and Padmavati.
The fourth cave is a Jain temple dedicated to the Tirthankara Parshavnatha. The temple also houses the sculpture of Mahavira in a sitting posture.
The first cave temple preceded the other three in construction. A flight of steps lead to the shrine. The ceiling of the cave is festooned with the beautiful paintings of amorous couples. This cave is dedicated to lord Shiva and hence his idol and his consort's idol(goddess Parvati) can be seen here. Eye catching attraction within the cave is the images of lord Nataraja(the cosmic dancer)in eighty one dancing poses.
The cool climate of Badami has made it a popular South Indian destination. The most propitious time to visit the village is between November- March.
The people believe in simple living and wear traditional Indian cotton clothes. The languages spoken here are Kannad Hindi and English.
Several festivals are celebrated with boundless fervour in towns near Badami. The famous ones are the annual temple festival held at Banashankari in January/February,the Virupaksha Temple Car Festival and Mallikarjuna Temple Festival celebrated at Pattadakal in March/April.
Badami offers several accommodation options to its tourists. Depending on your budget and preference you can choose the hotel. Five star hotel to budget hotel, all are available.
How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum. It is located at 150 km from Badami.
Rail: The nearest railway station is located 5 km from Badami.
Road: Badami is accessible from Hubli, Bijapur and Bangalore by road.